3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Missed Opportunity,
This review is from: Pete's Dragon (Audio CD)
This CD is a welcome and overdue release from the Disney stable, yet in some ways an unsatisfactory one.
First of all, a caveat that the quality of the songs is variable. Even as a fan of the film, I am obliged to admit that numbers such as Bill Of Sale and The Happiest Home In These Hills are instantly forgettable, and Boo Bop Bopbop Bop will be too saccharine for some. On the other hand, Candle On The Water was Oscar-nominated, and It’s Not Easy, Brazzle Dazzle Day and There’s Room For Everyone are truly exceptional songs, which rank among the best in musical history. There’s Room For Everyone in particular is remarkable for its political message of inclusiveness, especially applicable in this troubled age. By contrast, The Happiest Home In These Hills contains exhortations to tie the child protagonist “screaming to a railroad track” and “fill him full of lead”, lyrics which would rightly be censored today.
The quality of the cast’s singing is totally acceptable to me, even that of the young Sean Marshall, which has in the past prompted raised eyebrows from some quarters. However, the voice of Helen Reddy in Candle On The Water seems rather weedy, due perhaps to poor remastering. That said, the sound is generally fine.
The editing of Passamashloddy is shoddy, omitting the voice of Red Buttons altogether. Some of us would have appreciated less of him in the first place, but his interaction with Jim Dale is essential to the song’s success. The omission of some of the dance sequence music incorporated into the songs is also regrettable, especially the round dance in There’s Room For Everyone and the wonderful lighthouse-cleaning sequence in Brazzle Dazzle Day.
It is odd and maybe detrimental that the order of the songs on the CD is random, as this affects the listener’s sense of continuity, especially if the film is familiar, though of course this problem can be solved by programming the tracks to play in the right order. The CD booklet contains no pictures, which is a shame, and also the odd misprint (“lock” for “lop” and “be loved” for “belong”).
To sum up, this is an essential purchase for the Pete’s Dragon lover, but undoubtedly a missed opportunity – the DVD is a better bet if you can find it at a reasonable price.